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a very distinguished 43-year career in the united states navy including service as chief of naval operations. wile serving in the -- while serving in the navy, he also managed to obtain advanced management training at the harvard business school. few have the combination of practical military experience and sharp budgeting and management knowledge that admiral mullen possesses. respect for mike mullen is a major reason so many distinguished individuals chose to join this coalition, and it's now my pleasure to add -- to introduce admiral mike mullen. here he is. [applause] >> thanks, pete. and thanks for your leadership on this project which, as you said, goes back decades. and i really do appreciate all of you coming here today at what is a truly critical juncture for our nation in terms of our national security. our economic viability and our continuing leadership role overseas. it was in response to a reporter's routine question more than two years ago he first raised these concerns. he asked me what's the greatest threat to the united states' national security. as chairman of t
.5 million. we've good an admiral for almost every ship in the navy right now. we've had this crete in terms of rank. there's all sorts of money to be saved in the pentagon that will have no effect whatsoever on our defensive posture or our capability. >> but steve, i'm curious, though. what is the difference, in your opinion, between raising the top marginal rate and closing some loopholes? if you get $1.2 trillion in revenue, why does it matter so much more to the president that you do it by raising the top rate when the super wealthy, as we've described on the show, aren't going to be paying higher taxes? >> the issue is, joe, it's a question of whether it's going to be $800 billion or $1.2 trillion or somewhere in between. if the number ends up being $1.2 trillion, and we'll see where it comes out, it's hard to do it just with deductions. you end up limiting deductions so much that you cut into charities. you cut into state and local governments. you cut into a whole bunch of home mortgage. >> what about the buffett proposal? >> the buffett proposal is a great idea. the buffett proposal
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